First Robotics Contest

From: Joe
Sent on: Sunday, March 25, 2012 11:04 PM
I attended the FIRST robotics competition suggested by Bob. It was an impressive and inspiring experience. There were maybe a couple thousand or more high school students in attendance from surrounding states and Canada. The competition was robot basketball. The round started with 15 seconds of autonomous functioning by the elaborate robots attempting to shoot baskets, than switched to RC control. Even adult combat robot contests have rarely had workable autonomous robots, so the fact that high school students did this is very impressive and bodes well for the future of AI.

 The robots were varied designs of around 5 feet tall, could spin around and move very quickly, and scoop up basketballs and shoot them. The students and their teachers were very much into this contest, similar to a large football game but with a more cooperative vibe. The FIRST program explained that hundreds of thousands of students are participating in it's programs, so FIRST is probably the most influential none commercial AI related organization on the planet today. It might even be third for organizations of any type behind Google and Apple.

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